Experimental Animal Models in Research and Industry

Course content

The course aims to provide a general understanding of why and in what contexts experimental animal models are used in research and industry, and to introduce specific relevant animal models and examples of their applications.

The course will introduce students to the application of and requirements for the use of a wide range of animal models (from invertebrates to mammals) in research, biotech/pharma, food/feed, and the chemical industry. The students will be given insight in e.g. how to explore basic biological phenomenons, to test mode of action and pharmaceutical potency of drug candidates, nutritional and digestive properties of per- and probiotics, and effect of components used for pest management.

An overview will be given of the scientific properties, advantages, and limitations of different animal models that differ in complexity and use. Real world applications will be provided by expert lectures by research groups at UCPH and industrial partners with a focus on how each animal model is used in hypothesis-driven research and industrial applications.

In addition, students will learn to evaluate the appropriate use of animal models in relation to legislation and ethical considerations (replacement, reduction, refinement (3R)). An excursion to an animal experimentation facility will demonstrate practical aspects of housing animals for experimentation that comply with animal welfare legislation.


Bacheloruddannelsen i Bioteknologi 

Learning outcome

The course outlines the basis for using animals as model organisms, and characterizes the qualities and properties of using whole-organism animal models in comparison to alternatives. By the end of the course students should be able to:


  • Know the general characteristics of experimental animal models in relation to alternatives
  • Understand a range of different animal models, their biological and scientific properties, and their use in different contexts
  • Describe real world applications of animal models (e.g. screening models versus predictive pre-clinical models)


  • Explain limitations and strengths of each animal model in comparison to alternatives
  • Evaluate the appropriate use of animal models in relation to legislation and ethical considerations (3R)
  • Assess practical aspects of housing and experimenting with animals in a university/industrial setting


  • Reflect on and select an appropriate animal model based on a given problem/research question
  • Communicate verbally and in writing how research-based animal experimentation studies are conducted and how their results are interpreted (primary literature)
  • Evaluate practical and statistical aspects pertaining the experimental design of animal model studies   

The course will consist of theoretical background lectures, expert presentations on research and industrial applications, group discussions and peer presentations on a selected topic. One practical lab exercise and two excursions to animal experimentation facilities will be conducted.

The teaching material will consist of lecture slides, and hand-outs, primary literature, and limited selected material copied from textbooks (there is not one book that includes the topics that will be covered in the course).  

Continuous feedback during the course
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes with 20 min preparation
Type of assessment details
20 minutes oral exam in the curriculum with 20 minutes of preparation time.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Two internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

The students will be evaluated on their ability to demonstrate the learning goals described above.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 45
  • Preparation
  • 105
  • Practical exercises
  • 8
  • Excursions
  • 16
  • Project work
  • 25
  • Guidance
  • 6
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level

1 block

Block 2
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Brian Lund Fredensborg   (3-69736d4777736c7535727c356b72)

Brian Lund Fredensborg
Christian Kapel
Annette Bruun Jensen
Nina Cedergreen
ekspertforelæsninger fra inviterede KU forskere
Ekspertforelæsninger fra industrielle partnere (e.g. Gottingen Minipigs, Novozymes)

Saved on the 28-02-2022

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